Luxury time-share probe in Manhattan

Billionaire real estate developer Ian Bruce Eichner usually attracts wealthy buyers to high-end real estate, but one of his buildings in New York City has some owners scrambling to get out.

Eichner's 26-story Manhattan Club opened its doors in 1997 and was sold as a luxury time share, but some of its buyers are crying foul, complaining they got a raw deal because after paying up, the units were next to impossible to book.

One former owner recently told CNBC the deal was so bad he sold his penthouse time shares back to developers for $1 each, just to get out of paying the Manhattan Club's annual fees.

After an investigation by the New York attorney general's office in July, the Manhattan Club was slapped with a cease-and-desist order and AG Eric Schneiderman called it a "bait and switch" scheme.

While former and current buyers anxiously await the conclusion of the AG's investigation, a former Manhattan Club employee involved in the sales to prospective buyers made a shocking claim, telling CNBC in an exclusive interview: "You'll never have a problem booking a room, that's the biggest lie. No. 1. Reality is if you own it you can't get rid of it, unless you give it away."

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Manhattan Club developers maintain the building is the most desirable time-share property in the United States.

"The Eichner's have been fully cooperating for the past two months with the attorney general's office and have turned over thousands of pages of requested materials. The entire issue is moving towards a resolution. In fact, the vast majority of the Manhattan Club's units are used by its owners on a nightly basis," a spokesperson for Bruce Eichner said in a statement to CNBC.

"The property is a world-class destination and owner satisfaction with the property is excellent overall. We think it's important to note that, as measured by RCI, a time-share exchange, the Manhattan Club is the most desirable time-share property in the United States," the statement said.

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